Year: 2000

Foxhunt

BAN FOXHUNTING!…but what about the dogs?

We were watching Crufts on TV the other night <insert sarcastic comment here – I can’t be bothered thinking of one>, and they did a report on the impact a foxhunting ban would have on the hounds. It was very interesting, and made me stop and think, which is always a good thing.

My view on foxhunting is pretty simple, it should be banned, it’s barbaric and no longer required as there are many more humane methods of keeping the fox population down. The main focus of the report was the impact an immediate ban would have on the packs of fox hounds that are kept and bred specifically for foxhunts. Figures varied but a rough estimate of around 20,000 pack hounds exist in Britain. So what would happen to these dogs if foxhunting was banned?

Pack hounds are bred and brought up in packs (kinda obvious ain’t it) and, as such, are unlike most dogs. They have no territory, their identity coming from the pack. These dogs would have a difficult time surviving without the pack, as they rely on the pack community and social interaction to develop. Their owners wouldn’t pay for their upkeep (most are homed in specialist kennels) as they wouldn’t be able to hunt with them.

So, ban foxhunting, and the problem shifts from the well-being of the foxes, to the well-being of the pack hounds, 20,000 of them. You can’t put that number of dogs to sleep (and it would contradict the animal rights activist main aims) – interesting dilemma isn’t it! They did talk briefly about drag hunting (where I think they use a stuffed toy, or something, and drag it round fields behind a horse or 4×4) but you must have the correct terrain and there are only a few drag hunting sites in Britain, no where near enough to keep 20,000 dogs busy.

The obvious answer – well obvious to me – is to stop breeding and developing pack hounds now. Eventually pack numbers will dwindle, foxhunting can stop, and both sides will have plenty of time to prepare and plan alternative methods of fox control, and the pack hound breeds can be developed for other purposes.

Obvious? I hope so, I’m sure it has many pitfalls. Getting two sides, so vehemently opposed, to agree being the main obstacle. The activists want foxhunting banned now, the huntsmen are concerned about the knock-on effects, and argue about their rights.

And for that reason alone, this type of argument will continue to rage – how do you argue against someone’s belief system and how they perceive their rights? Why can’t everyone see the ‘other’ side?

Anyway, I think MY plan will work. Or maybe I should stop thinking about it and do something.

Annoying

It’s annoying sometimes, isn’t it – the way you want to do so much, but seem incapable of doing any of it. I annoy myself constantly, and catch myself frequently promising things I can’t deliver. Regular updates to this site for one! (but hey, I never promised that…did I?)

It relates back to plans and promises, and seems an endless circle. Each time I promise anything I get two, sometimes three, steps into it, and stop. I’ll spend less time on the PC – two weeks later I’m back to the usual 1 a.m. stints. I’ll go the gym…tomorrow…I’ll get better organised..well actually that ones not going too badly.

The main thing I have to learn, I think, is to realise who am I, what I am like, and stop trying to adjust. Compromise is one thing, and there is a fineline between the two. At the moment, the way I’m thinking, a compromise isn’t too bad, but I’m beginning to despise trying to adjust.

I kicked off the new year in fine style – ready to go, bubbling over with enthusiasm. Now I’m back round again, back to that familiar place. Exercise would help, it helps clear the mind, but I haven’t gone to T’ai Chi, nor found basketball. The gym at my work mocks me as I walk past it, everyday.

I know by this time next week I will be getting annoyed at myself again, and once it has built up enough, I will do SomeTHiNG about it. Why do I have to wait? That is the one thing, the question I return to. Why do I wait?

I know I’m lazy, but then, it depends on the task at hand. I was once told (OK, often told) that “We all have to do things we don’t like doing” and the REALLY annoying thing is that I agree. I know that, yet I can’t seem to force myself to do it. At the weekend I get bursts of restlessness, and leap up and do a few things on the ‘list’, but I never get them all done.

Are time-management and prioritising my biggest weaknesses? I don’t think so, professionally I find it easy, and rarely run into problems (well not ones that occur because I haven’t planned). Maybe I need to make my personal time more professional? Hmmm might just be the answer…in which case, I have dinner scheduled, so please excuse me, I must go.

Information

The internet is a wonderful thing, it has removed boundaries, and connected the world. Three cheers for Tim Berners Lee!!

Or perhaps not…

I was looking through some of my rants on here, and was quite shocked to find how quickly I had forgotten the incidents and issues I was so vehemently spouting about. Well, forgotten isn’t really the right word, but the issues had certainly slipped to the back of my mind (which I must clear out soon).

So what is this an indication of? My lack of integrity and true morals? Probably. But I think, or maybe want to believe, that there is another answer.

How many emails do you READ a day? How many news sites do you visit, on whatever topic? Information overload? The internet moves so fast, with new information coming so fast you feel cheated in your favourite “obscure 70’s Arcade games” website hasn’t updated it’s news for one day. I’m conscious that I spend too much time on the PC, and far too much time on the Internet – which is costing me a fortune, let me tell you Americans, you’ve got it easy! – and I am beginning to realise that my attention span is, well, is it decreasing? or is it ravenous for more?

The thought of sitting down to read a book seems almost prehistoric. Novels don’t contain the latest version of the wonderful shell you’ve been raving about, do they?

Pretty soon, something you thought about last week, seems like last month, and events creep past you, barely registering. Yesterday’s news is now last hour’s news. Scary.

I hope that future generations will remember to interact with the world outside their PCs (yes, there is one), keep a good sense of right and wrong, and remember past mistakes. I’m part of the first generation not affected by World War 2, and it seems so long ago now, especially in a new century, but we mustn’t forget. Now what we need is a global repository, that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, listing the atrocities, and reminding future generations of what can happen.

Dammit, I hate it when my brain does that to me…

And I think I’ll leave the back of my mind alone, I had a quick look and, frankly, I don’t want to go back…

Saturday

8th January 2000 – a Saturday night.

It was raining, cold, and miserable. We decide on the Balloch Hotel, it has that cosy, homily feel that pubs seem to lack these days. It also DOESN’T have music pumping at 200 decibels (oh god, I’m getting old).

So we sat, drank beer, and talked. It was great.

We covered recent events in our lifes, discussed what we hoped the future would hold, told crap jokes, and finally, as we always do, started reminiscing.

There aren’t many people that I consider as good friends, but on Saturday night, mine were all there. We have been through a lot, laughed, cried, argued and fought. No doubt we will go through more, and remain friends.

The true testament was how easy it was. We are different people to when we first met, almost 7 years ago, and our life’s have all taken twists and turns (you should know about mine by now). Without slipping into old personas, we did slip into a comfortable routine, OK, so some of the jokes are getting old (like IC! tee hee), and a lot of the stories weren’t funny at the time, but SB and I are talking now ;), but it was still a good night.

We will have others, but as it was the first get together of the ‘old class’ in a long time, it seems to have kicked started my year. Hopefully we will all stick to the resolutions we made, for some of us it will be easier than for others. The advantage is that we all have each other to lean on.